San Diego – Last night, 13 National Safety Council Defensive Driving Courses instructors were recognized as Instructors of the Year category winners. These 13 were chosen among 9,000 certified DDC instructors. One of the 13 instructors, Matthew E. Kelly of the Omaha Police Department, was chosen as the Instructor of the Year. Carey Cox of the Center for Transportation Safety in Grand Junction, CO, was recognized as the Instructor Trainer of the Year.
Defensive driving techniques equip people with information and skills to help prevent injuries and fatalities. These winners have gone above and beyond course training responsibilities to demonstrate leadership, dedication and a desire to impact the lives of students.
“The Department of Transportation has announced traffic fatalities are at a 60-year low, which is encouraging, but we must remain vigilant to reduce those numbers even further,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “A combination of efforts will be necessary to save lives on our roads, including the continued work of exceptional defensive driving instructors, such as those being honored.”
This year’s category winners are:
DDC-4 Andrew D. Martin, KELMAR Safety Inc. – Greenfield, IN
DDC-6 Karen S. Mertins, National Safety Council, Georgia Chapter – Norcross, GA
DDC-6-NY Louis P. Nazzaro, Northeastern New York Safety and Health Council – Beacon, NY
DDC-6-TX Shannon Haynes, Yellow Cab & Texas Education Agency – Houston, TX
DDC-8 Matthew E. Kelly, Omaha Police Department – Omaha, NE
DDC-8-VA Gregory Blair, #1 A Driver Improvement Program – Alexandria, VA
DDC-Professional Truck Driver Jim Holsworth, Landstar Systems, Inc. – Grand Prairie, TX
DDC-Alive at 25 Charles Carter, National Safety Council DMC – Cherry Valley, IL
DDC-Alive at 25-National Law Enforcement Curriculum Brian Bragonier, Wyoming Highway Patrol – Lander, WY
DDC-Alive at 25-United States Air Force Staff Sgt. Nicole Gittens
DDC-Alive at 25-United States Marine Corps Angel Rios
DDC-International Marcia Murphy, Jaric Environment Safety and Health Services Ltd. – Curepe, Trinidad
DDC-Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving Howard C. Hedegard Jr., New Hampshire Traffic Safety Institute – Epsom, NH
NSC was the first national organization to offer defensive driving courses back in 1964, and its instructors train about 1.7 million participants annually. More than 30 DDC classes are taught by the National Safety Council throughout all 50 states and in many foreign countries.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.